English & Language Arts

  • The West Chester Area School District’s Language Arts Program is rooted in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. The school district’s comprehensive language arts program provides all students with the tools they need to become strategic and independent learners in the 21st Century. Our program promotes critical thinking and lifelong enjoyment of reading and writing.

    Language Arts K-5


    Elementary students learn through an integrated model of language arts in which they engage in reading, writing, speaking, and listening across content areas. They learn both key literacy skills and strategies as well as how those skills and strategies help them grow as successful readers and writers. Key literacy skills target phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, oral language, and writing. Literacy strategies include predicting, questioning, summarizing, drawing conclusions, and evaluating information. As they progress through each grade level, classroom teachers help students apply skills and strategies to a wide variety of texts that become increasingly complex.

    Language Arts 6-8


    Middle school students learn through an integrated model of language arts in both English and Reading classes. Through reading, writing, speaking, and listening, the students study a wide range of literature: novels, short stories, poetry, drama, speeches, biographies, autobiographies, and editorials. Students also study and practice writing different types of texts; narrative, informational, and persuasive pieces.

    Integrating reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills, language arts classes encourage critical thinking and effective communication. Students also study grammar, spelling, and vocabulary in a sequential scope and sequence. The skills and competencies for each grade are determined by the state standards for reading, writing, speaking and listening.

    All sixth-grade students take both Reading and English. Additionally, some students continue with Reading in seventh and eighth grades. In reading classes, students use an integrated model of language arts to enhance their skills as successful and critical readers. They focus on applying reading strategies to a variety of texts across content areas. They speak and write about various texts. They develop competence across content areas and solidify skills and strategies: word solving, phonics, fluency, summarizing, comparing texts, self-monitoring, analyzing sources, and evaluating sources.

    Language Arts 9-12


    Similar to language arts instruction in grades kindergarten through eight, high school students learn through an integrated model of literacy. Through reading, writing, speaking, and listening students learn the forms and functions of language. They experience and understand cultural and linguistic diversity. Students also build upon previous knowledge and intuition about language, develop higher level critical and thinking skills, appreciate literature as an art form, and use technology as a resource to explore and evaluate texts.

    Students must complete four credits of English as a graduation requirement.  In both ninth and tenth grades, students take either Standards, Career and College Prep, Honors, or Accelerated Honors English. In 11th grade, students take Career and College Prep Language, Career and College Prep Literature, Honors, or English AP (Language and Composition). In 12th grade, students take Career and College Prep Language, Career and College Prep Literature, Honors or English AP (Literature and Composition). Students also have the option of taking various English electives which include Public Speaking, Writers’ Workshop, Content Area Literacy, Personal Reading, Video Production, Contemporary Literature, and Theater.

    English Language Arts Academic Standards:


    Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening (PreK-3)
    Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening (Elementary)
    Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening (Secondary)

    Please click here to download the academic standards. 

    Contact:
    Dr. Rich Mitchell rmitchell@wcasd.net
    Debra Dinsmore (elementary) ddinsmore@wcasd.net